First North Western
|Franchise(s):||North West Regional Railways
2 Mar 1997 - 11 Dec 2004
|Main region(s):||North West England
|Stations called at:||247|
|National Rail abbreviation:||NW|
The franchise was developed out of the North Western section of Regional Railways, one of the distinct regional sectors of British Rail which were established in the lead-up to privatisation. For a brief period from 1989, this section was operated under the short-lived Network NorthWest brand name, before changing to the Regional Railways brand. The franchise was awarded by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising to Great Western Holdings with operations commencing on 2 March 1997.
On 27 October 1997, a new livery of dark blue with a gold star was unveiled. In March 1998, First bought out the other shareholders in Great Western Holdings. The business was rebranded from North Western Trains to First North Western in November 1998 with First’s corporate blue, pink and white livery adopted.
First North Western operated a mix of urban and rural passenger services in North West England and North Wales, radiating out from Manchester to Birmingham, Chester, Holyhead, Liverpool, Blackpool North, Windermere and Sheffield.
|101||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||6||1956-1959|
|142||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||79||1985-1987|
|150||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||27||1984-1987|
|153||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||8||1987-1988|
|156||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||18||1987-1989|
|158||Diesel multiple unit||90||145||8||1989-1992|
|175 Coradia||Diesel multiple unit||100||160||27||1999-2001|
|322||Electric multiple unit||100||160||4||1990|
|323||Electric multiple unit||90||145||17||1992-1993|
In 2000, the Strategic Rail Authority announced that it planned to create a new TransPennine Express franchise transferring First North Western's Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere services, with the North Wales Coast Line services transferred to a new Wales & Borders franchise and the remaining services combined those of Arriva Trains Northern to form a new Northern Rail franchise.
On 28 September 2003, the North Wales Coast Line services transferred to Wales & Borders.
On 28 July 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the TransPennine franchise to First/Keolis with services operated by First North Western transferring to First TransPennine Express on 1 February 2004.
On 1 July 2004, the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the Northern franchise to Serco-Abellio with the remaining services operated by First North Western transferring to Northern Rail on 12 December 2004.
- Companies House extract company no 3007946 North Western Trains Company Limited
- "Summary of Events: 1986 to 2002". Museum of Transport Greater Manchester. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Network Northwest". Rail (EMAP) (93): 39. 6 April 1989. ISSN 0953-4563.
- "Great Western set to win North West franchise" Rail issue 298 12 February 1997 page 7
- "North Western Trains launches new look" issue 317 5 November 1997 page 7
- Rail bosses cash in on privatised gravy train The Independent 7 March 1998
- FirstGroup Annual Report 31 March 1999 First Group plc
- "It's First North Western" Rail 345 2 December 1998 page 14
- Timetables First North Western 29 November 1999
- "New Blackpool-London services to start this May" Rail issue 322 14 January 1998 page 10
- "Rochdale NWT London service" Rail issue 323 28 January 1998 page 16
- "FNW cuts Euston-Manchester service" Rail issue 355 21 April 1999 page 13
- First North Western Announces Minimal Service Changes First North Western May 2003
- "NWT livery for Class 322 Stansted units" Rail issue 329 22 April 1998 page 12
- "FirstGroup signs for its 110 new GEC DMUs" Rail issue 332 3 June 1998 page 9
- First North Western sulzerpower.com
- The Trans-Pennine Express rail franchise Yorkshire & The Humber Transport Activist's Roundtable Briefing Note October 2001
- The Wales and Borders Franchise House of Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Third Report 17 March 2004
- SRA Announce Preferred Bidder for TransPennine Express Franchise Strategic Rail Authority Press Release 28 July 2003
- Serco joint venture selected as preferred bidder for Northern Rail train operating franchise Serco Group 1 July 2004
Media related to First North Western at Wikimedia Commons
As part of British Rail
|Operator of the North West Regional Railways franchise
1997 - 2004
Wales & Borders
North Wales Coast services
First TransPennine Express